Israeli officials say if they decide to launch a pre-emptive attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, they will do so without the prior consent or knowledge of the US, according to an AP report citing leaked US intelligence.
The message was conveyed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to a number of senior US officials visiting the country, the news agency said, citing a US intelligence source. The official spoke about the sensitive strategic negotiations on condition of anonymity. Both the US and Israel declined to make any official comment.
Tel Aviv insists its strategy is necessary in order to protect Washington from being blamed for failing to stop an Israeli attack, should it take place. But it may also signify Israeli frustration over America’s position on the conflict.
America has told its Middle Eastern ally that it will neither take military action against Iran nor back unilateral action on the part of Israel. Washington favors sanctions over brute force as a means to stop Iran’s controversial nuclear program.
The news of Israel’s unilateral intentions comes ahead of a key visit to the US by Netanyahu, planned for early March. The Israeli premier reportedly ordered his ministers not to publicly discuss the Iranian nuclear program in an apparent damage limitation move ahead of his trip. The report of the “gagging order” came a day after Defense Minister Barak gave a lengthy TV interview in which he spoke of the danger posed by Iran.
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Although I am not convinced that Israel will strike Iran first, this article still show us how close we are to a full blown war in the Middle East. But then again, Israel may attack Iran and that can lead to Iran’s proxy, Syria, attacking Israel with chemical warheads. Only the Lord knows how it will happen, but we are surely on the edge of a war that can lead to the AoD.